Three SHU Students March for Life

March of Life 2011

At the March for Life were, from left, Katie Anninos ’12, Jo-Marie Kasinak ’11, and Kayley O’Brien ’14.

News Story: February 1, 2011

Three Sacred Heart University co-eds were among the estimated 400,000 people who attended the 38th annual March for Life on Monday, January 24, in Washington, D.C. Katie Anninos, ’12, Jo-Marie Kasinak, ’11, and Kayley O’Brien ’14, joined with a group from the Diocese of Bridgeport to take a bus to the event. All three agree they have memories to last a lifetime.

Katie, who founded the campus group, Heartbeat, says that despite the 3:30 a.m. departure time, she had an amazing experience. “I was particularly impressed with the diversity in age and ethnicity of the people who were there. There were toddlers with their parents all the way up to the very elderly,” she says. “A lot of my peers seem to have the perception that all young people take a liberal stance on this issue, but that was clearly not the case.”

She says she founded Heartbeat because she believes it is important for a Catholic university to have a pro life group on campus. “I didn’t think the spectrum was appropriately represented without it,” she says.

Both Kayley and Jo-Marie echoed Katie’s comments about the diversity of the march participants. “It was exciting to see how many people took time off from work or school to support this cause, and it felt empowering to be part of it,” Kayley says. “I’m going to remember that day and how I felt forever. It’s an experience I will share with my children.”

For Jo-Marie, one highlight was praying with the priests, nuns and parishioners from the Diocese of Bridgeport before the march. “They showed us the ropes, gave us signs and stickers and provided a sense of community for us,” she says. “I was surprised to see everything from groups from Germany and China to a Spanish mariachi band. Even though we were on a serious mission, there was a festive atmosphere as we celebrated the dignity of life.”

In fact, all three women mentioned the groups from Germany and China and that the China contingent was protesting the population controls in that country.

Katie intends to make the march an annual event in her life if possible. “I want to keep going back, and I plan to bring more and more people each time,” she says.